Flies that often land on processed salted fish products during the drying process cause fish to become contaminated with eggs. These flies are usually repelled using synthetic insecticides. However, the chemical content in it can harm fish consumers. A natural insecticide that does not cause residue, which is also cheap and abundant is needed.
To address this issue, a group of Community Service Student Creativity Program (PKM-M) Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) has designed an innovative natural insecticide made of mangrove tree leaves’ extract.
The group consisting of six students from three faculties have presented their innovations in a guidebook. From the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences (FPK), there are Ula Zidni Alfian Ikromah, Mei Rifqi Mursyidah and Sumber Nurhadi. From Faculty of Pharmacy (FF) there is Muhammad Mu’amar Fathoni and from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FKH), there is Ayu Andira Faulina Wardianingsih.
The guidebook on “Mangrove Leave Natural Insecticide: Mangrove Leave Natural Insecticide Production Technology as Fly Repellent” is intended for Youth Association in Ujung Pangkah, Gresik, East Java. The production of natural insecticide is divided into three stages, the stages of preparation, distillation, and application.
Sumber, one of the members, said that the method is quite easy because all he has to do is to put the mangrove leaves into the water-filled steamer. Then, wait for about 50 minutes to get the essential oil. However, assistance from experts is needed in designing the equipment.
The essential oil contains active alkaloid, tannins, flavonoids, and terpenoids. The compound can work as an insecticide, disrupt insects digesting food, and damage the insect’s nervous system.
Mirda Elisafitri, team leader, revealed that the Ujung Pangkah sub-district was chosen because the area has mangrove potential for 84.1 hectares. That way, the potential of mangroves in Ujung Pangkah can be developed to generate natural insecticide.
“The production of natural insecticide has not been widely used. So it can be a business opportunity to increase the income of the Ujung Pangkah community,” said Mirda
Every ton of mangrove leaves can produce a maximum income of up to 48 million by selling essential oil that have been diluted at a dose of 1.5 percent. Mirda and the team also uploaded a video on Youtube regarding the potential of mangrove leaves as a natural insecticide and how to produce it.